How to cook sushi rice in an instant pot

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This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read the full disclosure here.

Learn how to cook the best sushi rice in an Instant pot. Sushi rice is sticky, tangy, and lightly sweeten. Cooked perfectly in 20 minutes using a pressure cooker this recipe is quick and easy to make, even if you have trouble cooking rice. Use this perfect sushi rice to make homemade sushi rolls or smoked salmon sushi bowls.

Homemade sushi rice is one of those dishes that seems like you can’t make at home, especially if you have trouble getting the water to rice ratios right. The Instant Pot is my favorite kitchen appliance for cooking rice. It comes out perfectly every time.

Cooked instant pot sushi rice in a bowl.

If you are like me and struggle to make rice over the stove, you know how hard it can be to get the perfect pot of rice. Many times, I have left the heat on high, then the water overflowed all over the pot and stove. Resulting in soft rice on the outside and crunchy rice on the inside. It’s just a mess! The pressure cooker takes all that drama out of rice making. So it’s my favorite!

My sister and I love homemade sushi and we use this Instant Pot sushi rice recipe to make homemade sushi rolls. Or if you want an easier method – make smoked salmon sushi bowls. It’s basically a deconstructed sushi roll! Super easy to make and tastes incredible!

What is sushi rice?

Sushi rice is a short grain Japanese rice used to make many sushi dishes. When cooked, the rice is firm and sticky. Rice vinegar and sugar are added to it, to produce a sour-tasting but savory and delicious rice dish that is the base of sushi rolls, bowls, and many more dishes!

Ingredients You’ll Need for This Instant Pot Sushi Rice Recipe

Sushi rice – a short grain Japanese rice that gets sticky when cooked. Any brand would work well for this recipe, just make sure it’s labeled “sushi rice”. My favorite brand of rice is from Lundberg Farms.

Rice Vinegar – Make sure it’s unseasoned. Some bottles of rice vinegar come “seasoned” meaning it already contains sugar and salt. For this recipe, we are adding that ourselves, so we are looking for unseasoned rice vinegar

Cane sugar – I like to use cane sugar because it isn’t as processed as regular white sugar. For this recipe, you need just a little bit.

Salt – It is used to balance out the other flavors. I prefer the Evolution Pink Himalayan salt

How to Make Instant Pot Sushi Rice:

Step 1. Rinse the rice in a large strainer under running water until there isn’t any more starch in the water. Use your hands to make the rice around in a circular motion so the rice doesn’t soak up too much water. 

Step 2. Transfer the rice to the instant pot liner with 2 cups of water. Mix until the rice is leveled under the water. Cover with a lid, and set the pressure valve to “seal”. Press the “pressure cook” button. Set the timer to 10 minutes. Then allow the steam to release naturally for 10 minutes. 

Step 3. While the rice is cooking, in a small bowl mix together the rice vinegar, cane sugar, and salt, until everything is dissolved. 

Step 4. Once the rice is done cooking, transfer it to a large non-metal mixing bowl. Sprinkle the rice mixture over the rice and using a non-metal utensil gently fold the vinegar into the rice using a slicing motion, turning the mixing bowl after every turn. Taste and adjust for seasoning if needed. 
Step 5. Allow it to cool covered with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Now it’s ready to use to make all your favorite sushi rolls! Enjoy!

Kitchen Items You Might Need For This Recipe

Sushi rice

Unseasoned rice vinegar

Evolution Pink Himalayan Salt

Instant Pot

Large plastic spoon or Silicone spatula

Strainer

Tips and Tricks for cooking sushi rice

  • Don’t let the rice sit in the water. When you are rinsing the rice make sure you move it around in a circular motion so the rice doesn’t soak up too much water. If the rice is allowed to soak in the water it can affect its cooking time and texture, becoming soggy, less firm, and sticky. 
  • It’s better to over-cook the rice than to undercook it. When cooking rice or beans in the Instant Pot they have a tendency to firm up as they cool. So if the rice is a little overcooked, to begin with, it will have the perfect texture once you are ready to use it. 
  • Use non-metal utensils once you add vinegar to the rice. Metal can interact with the vinegar causing your sushi rice to have a weird metallic taste. Which is not what we want! Instead, use a glass bowl or plastic bowl and a wooden spoon or a silicone spatula to mix the rice. 
  • Make sure you are using sushi rice. Make sure you are using short-grain rice labeled “sushi rice”. This is the only type of rice that will give you the right result. In addition to this, sushi rice has a higher moisture content, so it has a sticky texture which is why it’s perfect for making sushi rice. If you use a different rice variety you won’t have the same results. 
  • Add the sushi vinegar to the hot rice then allow it cool. This allows the rice a chance to soak up the vinegar, sugar, and salt, therefore providing a better flavor and texture. Make sure to cover the rice when you are finished so it doesn’t dry out.

Frequently Asked Questions  —

How long does it take to cook rice in the Instant Pot?

Regular long grain rice takes about 10 minutes to cook in the Instant Pot and sushi rice takes 20 minutes!

What is the water to rice ratio for sushi rice?

Generally, the water to rice ratio for cooking sushi rice is 1:1, 1 part water to 1 part sushi rice. 

Looking For More Asian-inspired Recipes?

How To Make Sushi Rolls

Easy Smoked Salmon Sushi Bowls

Ground Chicken and Cabbage Dumplings

Chicken and Cabbage Fried Rice

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

Chicken and Broccoli Noodle Stir Fry

Did you give this Instant Pot Sushi Rice recipe a try?

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How to cook sushi rice in an instant pot

Learn how to cook the best sushi rice in an Instant pot. Sushi rice is sticky, tangy, and lightly sweeten. Cooked perfectly in 20 minutes using a pressure cooker this recipe couldn’t be easier. Use it to make homemade sushi rolls or smoked salmon sushi bowls.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 4 cups
Calories: 351kcal

Equipment

  • Instant pot or pressure cooker
  • non-metallatic spoon or silicone spatula

Ingredients

Instructions 

  • Start by rinsing your rice in a strainer under cool running water. Use your hand to mix the rice around in the strainer so it doesn’t soak up any of the water. Rinse until the water is no longer cloudy, 5 minutes. 
  • Then place the rinsed rice in the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Add the water, and mix until the rice is leveled. Cover with the lid and set the lid to “seal”. Set to the pressure setting. Cook for 10 minutes, allowing the steam to release naturally for 10 minutes. 
  • While the rice is cooking mix together the seasoning ingredients- rice vinegar, cane sugar, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Mix until combined and the sugar and salt have dissolved. Set aside. 
  • Remove the lid, then transfer the cooked rice to a large non-metal mixing bowl. Sprinkle the vinegar seasoning mixture over the rice. Using a plastic or silicone spoon or spatula, gently fold the rice to mix the seasoning. Turn the bowl. Fold from the bottom upward to get the seasoning on all of the rice. 
  • Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Then you are ready to use it to make sushi rolls or sushi bowls! Enjoy!

Notes

Gently fold the rice, you don’t want to be too rough with the rice because it can damage the grains and get mushy. 
Avoid metal utensils or bowls. Don’t mix the rice with the vinegar with or in metal, because the vinegar can interact with the metal causing the rice to have a weird taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 351kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 449mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutrition information is automatically generated and should be only used as a rough estimate. This recipe card may contain affiliate links.

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